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APRIL 2016 44 Entrepreneurship Blitzscaling An interview with Reid Hoffman 54 Digital Transformation How Platforms Change Strategy Marshall W Van Alstyne et al 108 Managing Yourself Dealing with a Rude Colleague Christine Porath YOU CAN’T FIX CULTURE PAGE 96 JUST FOCUS ON YOUR BUSINESS HERMÈS BY NATURE TO BREAK THE RULES, YOU MUST FIRST MASTER THEM THE VALLÉE DE JOUX FOR MILLENNIA A HARSH, UNYIELDING ENVIRONMENT; AND SINCE 1875 THE HOME OF AUDEMARS PIGUET, IN THE VILLAGE OF LE BRASSUS THE EARLY WATCHMAKERS WERE SHAPED HERE, IN AWE OF THE FORCE OF NATURE YET DRIVEN TO MASTER ITS MYSTERIES THROUGH THE COMPLEX MECHANICS OF THEIR CRAFT STILL TODAY THIS PIONEERING SPIRIT INSPIRES US TO CONSTANTLY CHALLENGE THE CONVENTIONS OF FINE WATCHMAKING ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE TOURBILLON AND CHRONOGRAPH IN STAINLESS STEEL April 2016 Contents 53 ON THE COVER: PETER CROWTHER SPOTLIGHT ON HOW PLATFORMS ARE RESHAPING BUSINESS 54 STRATEGY 64 ENTREPRENEURSHIP Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy Network Effects Aren’t Enough Businesses that connect producers and consumers are gobbling up market share and transforming the very nature of competition Marshall W Van Alstyne, Geoffrey G Parker, and Sangeet Paul Choudary The hidden traps in building an online marketplace Andrei Hagiu and Simon Rothman 72 BUSINESS MODEL INNOVATION Products to Platforms: Making the Leap Four steps can help product-focused companies successfully become platform providers Feng Zhu and Nathan Furr 80 REGULATION Spontaneous Deregulation ABOVE Vin Rathod Aura (series) 2012–2014 Photograph When upstart platform businesses ignore the rules, traditional incumbents are at a disadvantage To compete, they must analyze and address their vulnerabilities Benjamin Edelman and Damien Geradin April 2016 Harvard Business Review 5 HBR.ORG Features April 2016 44 THE BIG IDEA Blitzscaling 96 A thoughtful exit interview can promote engagement, enhance retention, and turn departing employees into corporate ambassadors for years to come Everett Spain and Boris Groysberg If an organization is struggling, fixing the culture is not the cure Executives need to tackle the business problems first Jay W Lorsch and Emily McTague HUMAN RESOURCES Making Exit Interviews Count CHANGE MANAGEMENT Culture Is Not the Culprit NICOLAS MÉNARD The cofounder of LinkedIn discusses the chaotic, sometimes grueling path to high-growth, high-impact entrepreneurship Reid Hoffman, interviewed by Tim Sullivan 88 6 Harvard Business Review April 2016 When it comes to your wealth, the questions you ask could be your most valuable asset Ask questions Be engaged Own your tomorrow.™ In life, you question everything The same should be true when it comes to managing your ZHDOWK'R\RXNQRZZKDW\RXULQYHVWPHQWUHFRPPHQGDWLRQVDUHEDVHGRQ"'RHV\RXU÷QDQFLDO professional stand by their word? 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And how those IHHVDIIHFW\RXUUHWXUQV"$VN\RXU÷QDQFLDOSURIHVVLRQDODQGLI\RXGRQÚWOLNHWKHLUDQVZHUVDVN again at Schwab We think you’ll like what we have to say Talk to us or one of the thousands of independent registered investment advisors that business with Schwab Wealth Management at Charles Schwab PLANNING | PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT | INCOME STRATEGIES | BANKING Brokerage Products: Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value To see how Schwab stands by our word, visit www.schwab.com/accountability ,QGHSHQGHQWUHJLVWHUHGLQYHVWPHQWDGYLVRUV ÜDGYLVRUVÝ DUHQRWRZQHGE\DI÷OLDWHGZLWKRUVXSHUYLVHGE\6FKZDERULWVDI÷OLDWHV6FKZDESURYLGHVFXVWRG\WUDGLQJDQG RSHUDWLRQDOVXSSRUWVHUYLFHVIRUDGYLVRUV1RWDOOSURGXFWVDQGVHUYLFHVDYDLODEOHWKURXJK6FKZDEDQGLWVDI÷OLDWHVDUHDYDLODEOHWKURXJKDGYLVRUV5HJLVWUDWLRQGRHVQRWLPSO\D certain level of skill or training There are eligibility requirements to work with a dedicated Financial Consultant Wealth management refers to products and services available through the operating subsidiaries of the Charles Schwab Corporation of which there are important differences including, but not limited to, the type of advice and assistance provided, fees charged, and the rights and obligations of the parties It is important to understand the differences when determining which products and/or services to select 7KH&KDUOHV6FKZDE&RUSRUDWLRQSURYLGHVDIXOOUDQJHRIEURNHUDJHEDQNLQJDQG÷QDQFLDODGYLVRU\VHUYLFHVWKURXJKLWVRSHUDWLQJVXEVLGLDULHV,WVEURNHUGHDOHUVXEVLGLDU\ Charles Schwab & Co., Inc (“Schwab”), Member SIPC, offers investment services and products, including Schwab brokerage accounts Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab %DQN PHPEHU)',&DQGDQ(TXDO+RXVLQJ/HQGHU HBR.ORG a study of six organizations across a strain on families, and produce they handled it, and those who other deleterious effects attempted confrontation were no industries, employees characterized more satisfied than those who didn’t as high thrivers burned out less than Unfortunately, people’s resilience to incivility is partly out respond Relying on institutional half as often as their peers They of their control Research has shown remedies rarely works either—a mere were 52% more confident in that responses to threat, humiliation, 15% report being satisfied with how themselves and their ability to take loss, or defeat—all commonly their employers handle incivility In control of a situation, and their associated with incivility—are fairness, organizations often have no performance suffered 34% less after significantly influenced by genetic opportunity to act: More than half of an unpleasant incident makeup Perhaps as a result, the most survey respondents say they don’t effective way to reduce the costs of report rudeness, largely out of fear or likely to worry about a hit or take it incivility in the workplace is to build a sense of helplessness as a personal affront, more immune A Holistic Approach and more focused on navigating to the waves of emotion that follow, a culture that rejects it—to adopt “the no asshole rule,” as Robert Sutton If you’re thriving, you’re less calls it in his best-selling book by that Just as medicine is shifting from a toward your goal Yet despite these name But very few organizations focus on fighting illness to one on obvious advantages, fewer than can comprehensively enforce this promoting wellness, research in my half the people I’ve surveyed focus rule So when individuals encounter field—organizational behavior—has on themselves and work to foster a incivility, what should they do? My research has uncovered some tactics that anyone can use to begun to discover that working to thriving mentality after a brush improve your well-being in the with incivility Rarely they office, rather than trying to change consider that the antidote might minimize the effects of rudeness on performance and well-being I wish I could have shared these with my younger self as she floundered in a hostile work environment many years ago Relying on institutional remedies rarely works—a mere 15% of respondents report being satisfied with how their employers handle incivility The Usual Responses Often Fall Short Many people decide to tackle the offender or the corrosive working be totally disconnected from the incivility head-on—through either relationship, is the most effective incident at hand retaliation or direct discussion remedy for incivility (See the sidebar “If You Choose That’s not to say you shouldn’t How can you help yourself thrive? I suggest a two-pronged approach: Take steps to thrive cognitively, which Confrontation.”) Another common report a rude or bullying colleague to response is to try to work around the HR, or try to manage conflict directly includes growth, momentum, and problem by avoiding the perpetrator But a more sustainable way to deal continual learning; and take steps to as much as possible Although these with bad behavior is to make yourself thrive affectively, by which I mean approaches can help in certain impervious to it—or at least a lot less feeling healthy and experiencing situations, I don’t usually advise vulnerable To that, it’s helpful passion and excitement at work people to take them Avoidance often to look at what we know about and outside it These two tactics are falls apart, because sometimes you thriving—the psychological state in often mutually reinforcing—if you have energy, you’re more likely to have no choice but to collaborate which a sense of vitality and self- with discourteous colleagues improvement fortifies people against be motivated to learn, and a sense Confrontation can make the dynamic the vicissitudes of life of growth fuels your vitality But worse In my surveys I’ve found In my research I have found that distinguishing between them can that more than 85% of people thriving people are healthier, more help people recognize in which area who chose to avoid or confront resilient, and better able to focus on they may be lagging and take steps perpetrators were unsatisfied with their work They are buffered against to bolster their defenses for the next how the situation ended or how distraction, stress, and negativity In hostile encounter April 2016 Harvard Business Review 109 EXPERIENCE Researchers responding to business-related job postings with fictitious résumés found that those listing internship experience were 14% likelier to generate an interview request than those without it A business degree had no effect on the interview hit rate “COLLEGE MAJOR, INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE, AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES: ESTIMATES FROM A RÉSUMÉ AUDIT,” BY JOHN M NUNLEY, ADAM PUGH, NICHOLAS ROMERO, AND R ALAN SEALS JR Thrive Cognitively or pay It can be equally effective in good measure on how well you If you’ve dealt with a rude colleague, in helping employees bounce back are able to manage your energy you probably know how hard it can from incivility One young woman In fact, my research suggests that be to get over it Perhaps no feeling working in marketing told me, “A many of the factors that help prevent is more difficult to overcome than a toxic environment was chipping illness—such as good nutrition, sense of injustice Neuroscientists away at my soul.” She saw no quick sleep, and stress management— have shown that memories attached or easy path out of her position, so can also help ward off the noxious to strong emotions are easier to she decided to pursue an MBA at effects of incivility access and more likely to be replayed, night Events along the way, such and ruminating on an incident as achieving a great GMAT score, Sleep is particularly important: A lack of it increases your prevents you from putting it behind provided excitement and confidence susceptibility to distraction and robs you This can cause greater insecurity, Although her future remained you of self-control; makes you feel lower self-esteem, and a heightened unclear, she became more resilient less trusting, more hostile, more sense of helplessness to her corrosive workplace aggressive, and more threatened I encourage people to shift their It’s worth noting that these even by weak stimuli; and can induce focus to cognitive growth instead development efforts need not be unethical behavior In short, sleep Your conscious brain can think about linked directly to your job Taking on deprivation (usually defined as only so many things at once—far a new skill, hobby, or sport can have getting less than five hours a night) better that it keep busy building new a similar effect It’s simply harder is a recipe for responding poorly to neural connections and laying down to be dragged down when you feel incivility and perhaps even damaging new memories on the upswing your career You can allow yourself to feel hurt Another way to promote cognitive Exercise is another surefire or outraged—but for a limited time growth is to work closely with a way to protect yourself against the only Tina Sung, a vice president at mentor Mentors have a knack for negative emotions, such as anger, the nonprofit Partnership for Public helping their protégés thrive by fear, and sadness, that are typically Service, shared with me a saying that challenging them and ensuring that brought on by rude behavior It captures this advice: “You can visit they don’t stagnate or get caught enhances both cognitive firepower Pity City, but you can’t live there.” in an unproductive churn For and mood, distracts you from I might add that Pity City is a good example, Lynne, a consultant your concerns, reduces muscle place to drop off your baggage working in an uncivil environment, tension, and improves resilience built a close relationship with a It has been shown to slash symptoms Journaling and other rituals can help bring closure As David Brooks mentor who urged her to steer clear of anxiety by more than 50%, and in documents in his new book, The Road of any unnecessary drama and focus one study it even proved to be more to Character, Dwight D Eisenhower on her own performance When effective at treating depression than often wrote furious invective in Lynne felt that she was slipping into sertraline, a leading prescription his journal to release negative rumination, recrimination, and for the illness Those who exercise emotions related to colleagues He anger, her mentor reminded her regularly are far less likely to sulk and started the habit while working as of the toll on her happiness and better able to rebound in the wake an aide to the famously tyrannical productivity and pointed her in of negative interactions General Douglas MacArthur more-fruitful directions Following Once your attention has shifted Maintaining your energy in other the advice, Lynne was able to ways, such as eating healthfully, will also help put you in top form to more-productive avenues, dramatically improve her well-being— several steps can help you focus and her performance, which scored to respond smoothly to an uncivil on cognitive growth First, identify her a promotion encounter When famished, most areas for development and actively people tend to respond to frustration pursue learning opportunities in Thrive Affectively them Teresa Amabile and Steven I find it useful to think of rude Kramer have shown that progress behavior in the workplace as an your body Mindfulness—shifting is a more powerful motivator in the infectious pathogen, like a virus your consciousness to process workplace than even recognition Your defense against it depends situations more slowly and 110 Harvard Business Review April 2016 by lashing out But it’s not just about caring for HBR.ORG If You Choose Confrontation If you’re thinking about confronting a colleague who’s been rude, ask yourself three questions: (1) Do I feel safe talking with this person? (2) Was the behavior intentional? (3) Was it the only instance of such behavior by him or her? If you answered no to any of the questions, not discuss the incident with the offender Concentrate on your own effectiveness and, in future encounters, follow the acronym BIFF: Be brief, informative, friendly, and firm But if you answered yes to all three questions, consider telling the offender how the behavior made you feel Some things to keep in mind: Prepare for the discussion Think about a good time and a safe environment in which you’ll both be comfortable Consider whether to invite other people to be witnesses or mediators Rehearse your ideas with someone who will give you honest feedback Ask that person to role-play the perpetrator, complete with temperament Be aware of your nonverbal communication This includes posture, facial expressions, gestures, tempo, timing, and especially tone of voice People practice what they plan to say far more than how they will say it But studies show that words convey far less meaning than does the way they’re delivered Proceed with the goal of mutual gain During the discussion, focus on the issue (not the individual) and how the specific behavior harms performance Prepare for an emotional response If the perpetrator starts venting, try to tolerate it: It may lead to a more productive place Use wording such as “I get that” or “I understand.” Admitting blame when appropriate may also be helpful Be an active listener Paraphrase what you hear and repeat it People gain credibility and are better liked when they ask humble questions Focus on establishing courteous norms for the future How will you interact so that neither of you suffers degraded performance moving forward? In a study of people who experienced rudeness, those who flourished in nonwork activities reported 80% better health, 89% greater thriving at work, and 38% more satisfaction with how they had handled the encounter Seeking leadership roles in the community—particularly if you have no immediate opportunity within your organization—bolsters both cognitive and affective thriving One executive I interviewed decided to join the board of a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of patients with dup15q, a condition his daughter had inherited He spearheaded fundraising efforts, helped build scientific interest, and stewarded the group’s finances These experiences and rewards, he told me, made him feel nearly bulletproof at work INCIVILITY EXACTS a steep price In extreme cases a job change or relocation may be needed to avoid burnout and to preserve your health and well-being My research shows that for every eight people who report working in an uncivil environment, approximately one ultimately leaves thoughtfully and to respond with with Andrew Parker and Alexandra as a direct result, and, looking back, greater premeditation—can help Gerbasi shows that across industries, I know I was right to exit the Florida you maintain your equilibrium in a organizations, and levels, “de- sports academy However, when difficult environment, as can finding energizing,” negative relationships I encounter rude behavior now, I’m a sense of purpose in your job I and have four to seven times as much better armed to offset its effects Like other researchers have discovered impact on an employee’s sense everyone else, I’m still a work in that when people are engaged in of thriving as energizing, positive progress, and my response is rarely work they consider meaningful, they ones In other words, you need a perfect But I can say with confidence are more productive in uncivil teams small group of energizers to offset that focusing on a sense of thriving than their colleagues are Reminding the effects of each jerk So think about has made me a more engaged, yourself of nonmonetary attributes the people in your life who make you productive, and happy professional that attracted you to your work in laugh and who lift your spirits Spend You can be too the first place may foster gratitude more time with them, and ask to be and satisfaction introduced to their friends Positive relationships within Finally, in studies of MBAs, and outside the office also provide executive MBAs, and employees, an emotional uplift that can directly I have found a consistently strong counterbalance the effects of correlation between thriving outside incivility Research I conducted work and resilience to incivility HBR Reprint R1604J Christine Porath is an associate professor of management at Georgetown University, a coauthor of Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace (Grand Central Publishing, forthcoming), and a coauthor of The Cost of Bad Behavior (Portfolio, 2009) April 2016 Harvard Business Review 111 Online Exclusives Use It With the Visual Library Downloadable visuals and slide decks help subscribers bring key HBR ideas and research to life Sign in and use them to save hours of presentation preparation, learn key concepts, or support your most important reports HBR.ORG/VISUAL-LIBRARY EXPERIENCE HBR.ORG Case Study Can You Cut “Turn Times” Without Adding Staff? jets that served mainly short-haul, domestic commuters to the massive airliners with multiple cabins that flew long-haul international flights When Ken had asked Rising Sun’s CEO, Daishi Isharu, for permission to so, his boss had laughed heartily “I like your initiative, Kentaro-san—not just down in the trenches but down in the toilet bowls!” Then he quickly turned serious “I will certainly support this research However, you must make sure it pays off A week from now, I’d like a proposal for how to get back to 12 minutes, if not down to 10 The faster we can turn these planes, the happier our customers will be and the more profits we will make.” The only person at RSA Ground who knew of Ken’s plan was the head of staffing, who’d agreed to assign by Ethan Bernstein and Ryan W Buell him to various teams as a “temporary worker” over the next few days Waiting on the tarmac with five other cleaners while passengers disembarked, Ken was more nervous K committee and ask for more money uniform shirt and wondered if to staff up Its members would insist the manuals for all the planes and he could really pull this off that he first try making his crews even practiced some procedures— As president of RSA Ground, the more efficient And after several subsidiary of Rising Sun Airlines fruitless meetings with the COO, the responsible for servicing its planes HR chief, and industry consultants, at airports across Japan, he’d been he’d decided that he needed to under enormous pressure in recent investigate the issue himself months Thanks to increased demand That’s why he now wore an RSA Ethan Bernstein and Ryan W Buell are assistant professors of business administration at Harvard Business School clearing seat pockets, wiping food trays, vacuuming seats But now he was responsible for half the economy seats in a Boeing 787, and he couldn’t imagine completing the task in the desired 10 minutes (leaving two minutes for inspection) Luckily, for air travel, Rising Sun’s flights were Ground uniform He planned to work now fuller and more frequent than undercover as a service crew member bathroom duty had gone to someone ever before And yet “turn times”— for a few days, starting as a cleaner else—a short, gray-haired man, his how long it took Ken’s crews to of planes at Narita International, protective goggles and plastic gloves clean, check, restock, and refuel the where RSA’s bottlenecks were already on, who seemed much more seasoned than the others in the group planes—had slipped from an average worst He’d also arranged to of 12 minutes to 20 in the past year In spend some time on cleaning a world of intricate flight schedules, and maintenance teams at When the door to the jet bridge tight takeoff windows, and fickle three other airports— opened, he and the rest of the crew fliers, those were costly delays Haneda, Osaka, and filed into the plane and spread out to Sendai—to get a feel for their assigned positions The problem was easily diagnosed: RSA Ground was trying GREG KLETSEL than he’d expected to be He’d studied entaro Hayashi buttoned his Ken looked at his watch: 6:14 AM how his employees were to more work with the same handling all the There Are Tricks number of employees But Ken knew aircraft in the fleet, Eighteen minutes later they had he couldn’t just go to the executive from the small finished: not terrible, but not April 2016 Harvard Business Review 113 EXPERIENCE Case Study Teaching Notes Ethan Bernstein and Ryan W Buell teach the case on which this is based in their leadership, organizational behavior, and service management classes for MBAs and executives were on 747s all day—with only probably eager to find better-paying six people in the crew—and it was and more prestigious jobs WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS CASE? turns went overtime, we had to We think the situation is emblematic of the struggles many organizations have today: a challenging frontline task embedded in a complex process in an environment where managers are trying to more with less start skipping stuff The next day education or training to anything Lady Stopwatch was angry and on else This is what I know And I’m HOW DO STUDENTS TYPICALLY REACT TO IT? They tend to think that the nature of their work and the problems their companies face are very different from those in the case But as they dive into it, they discover more parallels than they anticipated WHAT DO YOU HOPE THEY’LL TAKE AWAY FROM THE DISCUSSION? We want them to consider novel ways of balancing capability, motivation, and license to promote performance among frontline workers, whose roles affect customers Service excellence can’t be enforced; it must be designed just impossible After the first two good at it The manager says I’m the complaints.” only one she trusts with the toilets.” “So the crews need to be bigger?” “Yes Maybe seven people for a 787, 10 for a 747 But listen to me talking about planes! I grew up on a farm, and this was the only job I could find crew members asked Ken “Yes.” “I’m Toshi I’ve been here only a month myself It gets better You’ll learn how to it faster But not ever as fast as the manager wants!” “Where is the manager?” Ken asked She had given him his assignment when he’d clocked in at AM, but he hadn’t seen her since “Lady Stopwatch oversees another crew in the morning; she’s with us in the afternoon.” “Would you share them with whispering too they would be embarrassed I hope “Not now The next plane’s coming to be out of here in another month If you’re still around next week, we or two If you’re going to stay longer, can talk then.” you should talk to Nobuo-san.” He pointed to the gray-haired man, who By lunchtime Ken was exhausted He grabbed the container of cold was in the corner sipping from a teriyaki his wife had packed the canteen “He’s been here forever.” night before and tried to approach Nobuo-san,” he said, bowing slightly “First time?” one of the younger “they aren’t in the manual.” even told my family I’m doing it; they had 10 minutes until the next “That whippersnapper over there said HBR’s fictionalized case studies present problems faced by leaders in real companies and offer solutions from experts This one is based on the HBS Case Study “Trouble at Tessei” (case no 615-044), by Ethan Bernstein and Ryan W Buell “There are tricks,” he said “But”— Nobuo’s voice dropped to a whisper— me?” Ken asked, unsure why he was They had five minutes left in the and retreated to a small waiting room “How did you get so good?” when I moved to Tokyo I haven’t break, so Ken walked over “Hello, gloves and towels in a rubbish bin Nobuo shrugged “I have no our backs because of the customer amazing, either The schedule said plane arrived, so they discarded their “Why have you stayed?” Ken asked you’re the expert around here.” “That is probably true,” Nobuo replied with a small smile Nobuo again, but Lady Stopwatch intercepted him in the break room “How is your first day going?” she asked “Very well, thank you,” he replied “My other crew also has a new temp, and although I would have “Is it good work?” liked to watch both of you in the “Hard work Dirty work But it pays morning, I couldn’t risk putting two the bills And some of us take pride in inexperienced workers on one team.” doing it well.” She looked at a spreadsheet on the “The turns seem tough I was tablet she was carrying “I see your working as fast as I could, following group is averaging 18-minute turn all the techniques in the manual, and times so far The other crew did 16 it still took me 18 minutes.” “I was done with the bathrooms in eight People could go faster The more experienced people But fewer of us are around now.” Ken winced Attrition rates So we’ll see if we can get you down to that.” She was cheerful but stern Amazingly, in the afternoon Ken’s team did cut its time to 16 minutes He didn’t know if that was because everyone had fallen into a rhythm or “Lady Stopwatch?” had indeed spiked in the past because Lady Stopwatch’s shouting “Yes She holds one up year, along with turn times Mari (“Five minutes—half done, team! and shouts out times to help Kata, his HR chief, had been rapidly Let’s finish strong!”) had inspired us keep pace Sometimes hiring temporary and part-time them to work just a little bit harder that’s good, but it can also get workers—20 to 30 a month—to pick annoying They want us to the up the slack, but few of them stayed inspected the plane and pointed to turns in 12 minutes That’s fine for on They found the work too difficult the cleaner who had not only finished a half-full 787 But last week we and stressful and, like Toshi, were in the desired 10 minutes but had 114 Harvard Business Review April 2016 After each turn she quickly HBR.ORG done so without any mistakes or observations, his colleagues were Stopwatches and competitions omissions It was Nobuo the first flabbergasted are terrific ideas If we want to hire three times, which he acknowledged with a nod and a smile Another older employee, a woman, won the next two rounds, which left her beaming, and then it was back to Nobuo “Forgive me, Kentaro-san, but you did what?” Mari sputtered “Worked undercover on the crews for four days.” They sat in stunned silence people or pay more, it should be at Tell us what you’d in this situation Go to HBR.org the managerial level But we could achieve stronger oversight and tighter controls with our current staff if we worked at it.” through the end of the shift Ken Finally Mari spoke up “Well, sir, worked faster and more diligently I applaud you for understanding was next: “I like your thinking, Mayuka-san, but why not use Yoshiyuki Taniguchi, the CTO, in an effort to win just once, but he how very important the people on wasn’t sure the competition had the the ground are to our business And technology to achieve the same same effect on the rest of the group I believe that what you saw confirms result? Make a onetime investment During one of Lady Stopwatch’s what I’ve been saying all along in a system that uses wearable announcements, he thought he’d We need to invest in our personnel— tracking devices to monitor employee seen Toshi roll his eyes And as hire more crew members and give performance, including individual he’d shuffled past the flight crew them better training and and team turn times and the quality on the jet bridge, he’d sensed that a higher wages We need of the work performed We don’t need 16-minute turn was well below their to make sure that the more Lady Stopwatches—we need expectations as well They looked Toshis learn the ropes quickly and the next generation of oversight.” impatient and frustrated and barely that the Nobuos stick with us That’s acknowledged the cleaners the only way we’ll get to quicker As Ken clocked out at 2:30 PM, the manager told him, “You good work And you look familiar Have you been with us before?” “Not as part of the cleaning crew, ma’am, but elsewhere in the airport, yes,” Ken said carefully turn times.” “What sort of budget increase are you suggesting we ask for?” Ken said “I’d have to run the numbers, but perhaps 20%.” Ken turned to his CFO, expecting a reaction, and got one: “Respectfully, Yoshiyuki had mentioned this to Ken before, but like Mari’s suggestion, it would require a significant up-front expense Pilot programs using such systems at other companies had shown some promise, but the results were mixed “Aren’t there any more-creative, less costly ways to solve this “Well, I hope you’ll be back.” Mari-san, I would be extremely problem?” Ken asked It wasn’t the “I think I’m heading to Haneda uncomfortable putting a request first time he’d put the question of that size to management We’ve to the group, and he’d asked it of tomorrow.” “I guess we’re all struggling to find good workers,” she replied Yes we are, Ken thought promised them, and they’ve himself too many times to count promised shareholders, that we’re The “undercover boss” experiment going to improve margins this year.” was supposed to have given him Ken didn’t want to shoot down some new ideas, but the only one More Nobuos Mari’s proposal immediately, but he he’d had so far was to clone Nobuo His stints on service crews at the agreed with the CFO He would have That proposal would surely make other airports were similar Ken met to push very hard to win approval Isharu-san laugh again But Ken experienced employees, accustomed for half that amount, and Daishi needed a plan that would impress him to grunt work, who knew how to Isharu would no doubt expect a get the job done but somehow near-immediate return on it seemed discouraged He talked to newer workers, many of them parttime, who viewed RSA Ground as a “Well, of course we could make headway with less money,” Mari said Mayuka Mori, the COO, jumped distasteful and, ideally, brief stopover in: “May I offer my perspective? on their way to better employment The message I take away from And he saw managers who were Kentaro-san’s report is the effective but spread too thin When he called a meeting with his executive team to share these What steps should RSA Ground take to improve its turn times? See commentaries on the following pages importance of managers The teams perform best when they are following best practices and fully coordinated April 2016 Harvard Business Review 115 EXPERIENCE The Experts Respond Nobuo’s talent should be showcased, not hidden behind a bathroom door Atilla Korkmazoğlu is the president of ground handling and cargo operations at Çelebi Aviation Holding OF COURSE Ken can’t clone Nobuo in a literal sense, but he can certainly try to clone what he does in a couple of ways At a minimum, he should encourage RSA Ground’s managers to capture and document more of the knowledge held by their top cleaners and maintenance workers Lady Stopwatch is already reviewing her team members’ work and acknowledging strong performance, but she’s not asking enough questions about how Nobuo and her other star employee are doing their jobs so well She should be incentivized to so and to share what she learns with the rest of the group Ken might also create team leader roles for Nobuo and other seasoned workers Give them the trust and respect they deserve and put them in a position to routinely share their “tricks” with teammates There’s no reason why the best cleaner on staff should be given one of the worst jobs Nobuo’s talent and hard work should be showcased, not hidden behind a bathroom door 116 Harvard Business Review April 2016 RSA Ground should also think about appointing the Nobuos of the organization, along with the company’s most observant and motivational managers, to a project team tasked with redesigning processes by systematically documenting and spreading current best practices That is how Starbucks, for example, achieves such consistency in its offerings Its baristas are all trained to things in the same efficient way They’re also taught that if they find ways to speed up or improve the work, they should volunteer those ideas One specific change I might suggest is the creation of smaller, more stable teams: three or four employees, including at least one with significant experience, who always work together This structure would encourage people to trust and learn from one another, enhancing coordination, collaboration, and efficiency The groups could be merged—also in as consistent a manner as possible— to clean larger planes None of these suggestions would require a significant investment—just the time and energy to see them through After Ken has implemented one or more of them, he should focus on longer-term solutions for attracting and retaining talent At Çelebi we’re able to find quality people to lower-level jobs because we offer them clear opportunities for advancement A cleaner might become a baggage cart driver or a pushback operator We also reward people when they great work A nod from Lady Stopwatch isn’t enough So at some point, Ken should go to Isharu and ask for a budget to track performance by means of a point system and offer monthly bonuses to the most efficient individuals and teams We have a similar program, and we’ve found it to be a great motivator Comments from the HBR.org community Train, Reward, Promote Give the cleaners simple countdown timers to help them pace themselves Assign them to the same area for a month in order to streamline their training in best practices and “tricks.” Create a rewards system for top performers like Nobuo And start promoting him and other senior workers to management positions Kenneth Goh, airline cabin crew member Engage Passengers and Crew I’d try to figure out how passengers and crew could be engaged to help with these cleaning tasks for a small reward If RSA Ground “gamified” the process, explained why they were doing it, and made it fun and not icky, the cleaners could be turned into inspectors Penny Osborne, consultant, This May Hurt Rebrand the Company RSA Ground should rebrand itself as an important contributor to airline safety, efficiency, and customer experience and use “lean” principles to redesign its work processes and recognition systems around teams Mel Blitzer, senior partner, Partner2Win HBR.ORG Create Awards If Nobuo isn’t comfortable sharing his tricks immediately, the culture may not be permitting him to challenge the status quo I would instruct management to create “change agent” awards for employees who introduce new ideas Fhatuwani Lidovho, MBA candidate, Wits Business School Vikram Oberoi is the managing director and CEO of EIH Ltd., the parent company of The Oberoi Group KEN’S PROBLEM starts with hiring RSA Ground seems not to select the right people for its critical cleaning and maintenance jobs Given Japan’s aging population, one solution might be to hire older, full-time workers, who, like Nobuo, may take pride in even menial work But the company could also consider more-creative initiatives At Oberoi we hire people who have the potential to grow two levels in the organization with the right training and support We choose hotel school graduates who are willing to start in entrylevel positions—front office, housekeeping, or food and beverage—and work their way up Because many young people in India don’t have access to that kind of education, we also select high school graduates to work for us five days a week and spend the sixth day engaged in a three-year distancelearning bachelors program in hotel management The company pays for this education, and it enables us to find talented employees and groom them from an early age Training, too, could be improved at RSA Ground Nobuo and others have expertise that needs to be shared, so Ken should get them together to rewrite the employee procedures manual An important question is whether it’s feasible to turn the planes as quickly as Rising Sun wants without cutting corners People can be stretched, but they can’t deliver the impossible Ken’s instincts are right: He needs to listen to people on the ground Lady Stopwatch emphasizes time and creates a sense of urgency However, Ken could invest in technology to count down milestones and keep people on track—thereby freeing her and other managers to focus on creating winning teams When I started as a general manager at the Oberoi Rajvilas, in 1997, I and other members of the leadership team set aside time every day to work and support the operations groups in various parts of the hotel If many guests were checking in, I would be a bellhop; if the laundry was busy, I would load the machines; if the bar was crowded, I would serve drinks This gave me insight into our business’s strengths and weaknesses and Ken’s instincts are right: He needs to listen to people on the ground also emphasized the importance of jobs that in India’s highly stratified society might otherwise have been disdained as low-caste positions We also use autonomy and recognition as employee engagement tools One of our programs, called Empower, allows employees to spend up to $30 to delight guests in a meaningful and personalized way Recently a guest checking in to one of our hotels mentioned to a housekeeping associate that his back was sore after a long flight; the associate recommended and then booked him a complimentary 30-minute massage at the hotel spa Managers collect such stories to share at their evening briefings, and the best are e-mailed around the company so that everyone can learn from them We rejoice when people perform well and innovate, and we confer recognition awards monthly, quarterly, and yearly One last, low-cost idea is to make RSA Ground’s efforts to turn planes quickly more visible to passengers The Indian airline IndiGo tells travelers that on-time departure is extremely important for passengers and for the airline— it asks passengers to help achieve this by collecting their own rubbish and handing it to flight attendants just prior to landing If Rising Sun’s planes have front and back doors, passengers might even be able to start boarding by row while cleaners finish their tasks.  HBR Reprint R1604K Reprint Case only R1604X Reprint Commentary only R1604Z April 2016 Harvard Business Review 117 EXPERIENCE P sssst Yes, you I know you’re busy, but stop what you’re doing and read this instead I’ve got some tips that are going to change your life Not chiseled abs or better sex—we’ll leave those to Men’s Health and Cosmopolitan This is about setting yourself on a path toward that professional-class nirvana getting more done You deserve a break, and there’s no more virtuous form of procrastination than reading about new ways to accomplish work faster—a body of clickbait that’s become known as “productivity porn.” This is not a new genre: Americans have been lapping up time-management counsel since Benjamin Franklin started writing it But such advice has never been more valuable than in the modern era, when a growing slice of the workforce is measured not by a time clock but by what its members actually produce That explains the popularity of websites like Lifehacker and of productivity gurus such as David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done This year has brought two new titles, and as with diet books, it’s fair to ask: Is there really anything fresh to say about prioritizing, not being a slave to e-mail, and minimizing distractions? That may not matter, since our appetite for such advice is limitless To the old adage that you can never The latest in productivity hacks by Daniel McGinn 118 Harvard Business Review April 2016 Chris Bailey, a twentysomething Canadian, is a quirky and energetic guide through the productivity porn thicket Bailey read Getting Things Done as a teenager and became obsessed with finding ways to complete tasks in less time and with less effort After graduating from college, he turned down two job offers to spend a year GREG KLETSEL Synthesis Still Trying to Get More Done be too rich or too thin, add: You can never be too productive HBR.ORG JOHN BROWNE: WHAT I’M READING Submission, by Michel Houellebecq (William Heinemann, 2015) “This is a disturbing thought experiment in the form of a novel, which reminds me how quickly worlds change It should encourage all business leaders to think more about scenario planning.” John Browne is the executive chairman of L1 Energy, the former chief executive of BP, and the author of Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically with Society (PublicAffairs, 2016) experimenting with (and blogging about) productivity hacks His online “While some people have normal interests like sports, music, and cooking, as strange as it may sound, I have always been obsessed with becoming as productive as possible.” stunts—which included bingewatching 296 TED talks in a single week—led to a publicity bonanza and a book contract The result is The Productivity Chris Bailey, The Productivity Project Project Bailey deserves credit for the range of efficiency tricks he test-drove In one experiment he limited his iPhone usage to 60 sections on procrastination minutes a day (Smartphones are (which happens most often modernity’s paramount distraction.) packaged in original stories—a PhD who becomes a professional poker when tasks are boring, too difficult, champion, how autopilot lulled an In another he alternated 90-hour or lacking in meaning) are especially Air France crew into a fatal crash— and 20-hour workweeks, closely enlightening, as is the discussion that make it entertaining Smarter tracking his accomplishments of why focus and energy are as Faster Better feels less cohesive against time spent goofing off (His significant as time management finding: Longer hours killed his “Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned productivity, and shorter hours from this experiment,” he writes, forced him to prioritize.) To limit “was just how important it is to than Duhigg’s other book: It has no strong central thesis, and the connection between some chapters and personal productivity feels his time on e-mail—a gigantic time deeply care about your productivity suck—he started checking it just goals, about why you want to become it offers a C-suite guide to the topic, three times a week (He created a more productive.” focused less on how individuals second, top-secret e-mail address Charles Duhigg has special bona tenuous But one could argue that can increase output and more on for the handful of people who might fides in the field: He manages time presenting organizational principles need him urgently and checked adeptly enough to be a Pulitzer- and systems that make people work winning New York Times reporter together with greater efficiency it daily.) To reduce time devoted to hygiene and nutrition, he experimented with limited bathing and eating only Soylent, a mealreplacement beverage To create a truly distraction-free environment, he worked (and lived) for 10 days in a windowless basement room, The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy Chris Bailey during the day while writing books previous one, The Power of Habit, it it seems dull, pointless, or too Crown Business, 2016 jumps quickly between settings—a challenging? Instead of focusing on For many of us, though, at night (Before entering journalism, productivity will remain not a he earned an MBA and worked in systems problem but a minute-to- private equity.) His new book is minute struggle: Should I check Smarter Faster Better, and like his Twitter or my work, even if interacting with no one During Marine Corps boot camp, a nursing tips and tricks, it might be worth another period, he scheduled daily home, Google’s HR operation, asking: If you’re finding it really three-hour naps Saturday Night Live, and Pixar’s hard to be productive, are you doing studios—to illustrate its concepts the right work in the first place? It’s Books based on the my-yearof-doing-crazy-activity-X concept The discursive narrative technique, also worth keeping in mind that often feel gimmicky and padded, most often associated with Malcolm your goal with productivity porn and Bailey’s book is longer than Gladwell, has a propulsive quality: shouldn’t be to transform yourself it needs to be (It’s a cruel irony that Duhigg’s storytelling makes you into a hyperefficient automaton who I found myself checking my phone want to keep reading can take on ever larger piles of work frequently while reading this book about how not to check your phone too frequently.) But give Bailey credit for not belaboring his own productivity experiments; instead, his chapters are filled with solid research and prescriptive tips The Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business Charles Duhigg Penguin Random House, 2016 Duhigg defines productivity Rather, it should be to find a way expansively, looking at research to break free from the office more on topics such as motivation, goal quickly and get to the outside world— setting, decision making, and where real living is done helping teams function better Some of the research he cites will be familiar to HBR readers, but it’s Daniel McGinn is a senior editor at Harvard Business Review April 2016 Harvard Business Review 119 “Simple, powerful, and purposeful.” – JEFFREY R IMMELT, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY “At PepsiCo, we practice what VG preaches.” – INDRA K NOOYI, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, PEPSICO, INC From the New York Times bestselling author Vijay Govindarajan comes The Three Box Solution: A simple and proven framework that will help you balance the demands of your current business while building your company’s future at the same time Get the book that executives from GE, PepsiCo, and others have adopted as a way to drive innovation in their organizations AVAILABLE IN HARDCOVER AND EBOOK FORMAT WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD hbr.org/books HBR.ORG EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES APRIL 2016 SPOTLIGHT ON HOW PLATFORMS ARE RESHAPING BUSINESS HBR.ORG SPOTLIGHT How Platforms Are Reshaping Business 54 Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy by Marshall W Van Alstyne, Geoffrey G Parker, and Sangeet Paul Choudary 64 Network Effects Aren’t Enough by Andrei Hagiu and Simon Rothman 72 Products to Platforms: Making the Leap by Feng Zhu and Nathan Furr Uber and Airbnb are just the latest in a long line of platform businesses that have upended stable, profitable industries Platforms play by different rules When they win, they win big— but conventional management thinking doesn’t always apply 80 Spontaneous Deregulation by Benjamin Edelman and Damien Geradin ARTWORK Vin Rathod, Aura (series) 2012–2014, photograph April 2016 Harvard Business Review 53 STRATEGY ENTREPRENEURSHIP BUSINESS MODEL INNOVATION REGULATION Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy Network Effects Aren’t Enough Products to Platforms: Making the Leap Spontaneous Deregulation Andrei Hagiu and Simon Rothman page 64 Feng Zhu and Nathan Furr page 72 Benjamin Edelman and Damien Geradin | page 80 In many ways, online marketplaces are the perfect business model Since they facilitate transactions between independent suppliers and customers rather than take possession of and responsibility for the products or services in question, they have inherently low cost structures and fat gross margins They are highly defensible once established, owing to network effects Yet online marketplaces remain extremely difficult to build, say Andrei Hagiu of Harvard Business School and venture capitalist Simon Rothman of Greylock Partners Most entrepreneurs and investors attribute this to the challenge of quickly attracting a critical mass of buyers and suppliers But it is wrong to assume that once a marketplace has overcome this hurdle, the sailing will be smooth Several other important pitfalls can threaten marketplaces: growing too fast too early; failing to foster sufficient trust and safety; resorting to sticks, rather than carrots, to deter user disintermediation; and ignoring the risks of regulation This article draws on company examples such as eBay, Lending Club, and Airbnb to offer practical advice for avoiding those hazards HBR Reprint R1604D Following the path of companies such as Apple and Amazon, more and more firms are trying to become not just product purveyors but also platform providers, facilitating direct connections between customers and other groups Although launching a platform can generate new revenue, success is not automatic After studying more than 20 companies that have tried to move from products to platforms, the authors point to four practices that can separate winners from losers: Start with a defensible product and a critical mass of users A strong product and a loyal customer base will attract third parties to your platform Apply a hybrid business model Instead of operating with a “product mindset” or a “platform mindset” alone, combine the two in order to discover new opportunities for creating value Drive rapid conversion to the platform Existing customers are likely to flock to a platform if it provides enough new value, if the additional products and services offered are consistent with your brand, and if users have opportunities to improve both the products and the platform Deter competitive imitation Make it tough for rivals to copy your product-to-platform strategy: Consider creating proprietary standards, using exclusivity contracts, and erecting other barriers to competition HBR Reprint R1604E Marshall W Van Alstyne, Geoffrey G Parker, and Sangeet Paul Choudary | page 54 For decades, the five-forces model of competition has dominated the thinking about strategy But it describes competition among traditional “pipeline” businesses, which succeed by optimizing the activities in their value chains—most of which they own or control “Platform” businesses that bring together consumers and producers, as Uber, Alibaba, and Airbnb do, require a different approach to strategy The critical asset of a platform is external—the community of members The focus shifts from controlling resources to orchestrating them, and firms win by facilitating more external interactions and creating “network effects” that increase the value provided to all participants In this new world, competition can emerge from seemingly unrelated industries and even from within the platform itself The authors, three platform strategists, walk executives through the choices they must make when building platforms, outlining the different metrics needed to manage them Businesses that fail to learn the new rules will struggle, they argue When a platform enters the marketplace of a pure pipeline business, the platform nearly always wins That’s exactly what happened when the iPhone came on the scene in 2007 By 2015, it accounted for 92% of global profits in mobile phones, while most of the giants that once ruled the industry made no profit at all HBR Reprint R1604C Platform businesses such as Airbnb and Uber have risen to success partly by sidestepping laws and regulations that encumber their traditional competitors Such rule flouting is what the authors call “spontaneous private deregulation,” and it’s happening in a growing number of industries The authors explain that businesses are most vulnerable to spontaneous deregulation when certain conditions hold One, for example, is when regulations are excessive or outdated, protecting consumers against unlikely risks— and when platform providers offer other means of shielding consumers from harm Incumbents facing threats from private deregulation can respond by taking legal action to press for enforcement of existing laws Alternatively, they can embrace aspects of a new entrant’s approach—taxi operators, for example, have developed Uber-style apps for ordering rides Incumbents can also leverage their own strengths to set themselves apart from upstart competitors— that’s the tactic that CitizenM, the Pod Hotel, and Yotel are using to woo guests who might otherwise book with Airbnb If all else fails, incumbents may have to cease operation But they stand a good chance of avoiding that fate if they address their vulnerabilities early HBR Reprint R1604F April 2016 Harvard Business Review 121 EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES The Big Idea Features GROWTH HUMAN RESOURCES Blitzscaling Making Exit Interviews Count Culture Is Not the Culprit Reid Hoffman, interviewed by Tim Sullivan page 44 Everett Spain and Boris Groysberg | page 88 Jay W Lorsch and Emily McTague | page 96 Reid Hoffman is one of Silicon Valley’s grownups After helping to found PayPal, he moved on to launch LinkedIn in 2002—an endeavor that turned him into a billionaire He was an early investor in Facebook and now serves as a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock In this edited interview with Tim Sullivan, of HBR Press, Hoffman explores his idea of “blitzscaling”—the discipline of getting very big very fast In today’s networked landscape, the path to high-growth, highimpact entrepreneurship can be chaotic and grueling It involves rapidly building out a company to serve a large and usually global market, with the goal of becoming the first mover at scale And there’s no playbook to guide you, Hoffman notes “You throw yourself off a cliff and assemble your airplane on the way down.” Hoffman emphasizes that blitzscaling is not just about growing revenues and the customer base but also about scaling the organization People naturally focus on the first two, and “if you don’t get those right, then nothing else matters.” But very few businesses can succeed on those fronts without also building an organization that has the capability and the capacity to execute at a high level in the face of extremely rapid growth The challenges, risks, and headaches of blitzscaling go beyond the operational; they can take a toll on organizational happiness “But the thing that keeps these companies together—whether it’s PayPal, Google, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter,” Hoffman says, “is the sense of excitement about what’s happening and the vision of a great future.” HBR Reprint R1604B A thoughtful exit interview can highlight hidden challenges and generate essential competitive intelligence When organizations get into big trouble, fixing the culture is usually the prescription That’s what most everyone said GM needed to after its 2014 recall crisis Cultural reform has likewise been proposed as the solution to the corrosive bureaucracy at the Veterans’ Administration, unethical behavior in banks, and the excessive use of force by police But interviews with successful change makers, conducted by Harvard Business School’s Jay W Lorsch and Emily McTague, suggest that culture isn’t something you “fix.” Rather, cultural change is what you get when you put new processes or structures in place to tackle tough business challenges Organizations are complex systems with many ripple effects—and reworking fundamental practices will inevitably lead to new values and behaviors In this article, the authors explain how this played out during four major transformations: the remake of Ecolab into a diversified corporation three times its original size; the postbankruptcy merger of Delta and Northwest; the turnaround of Ford; and Novartis’s shift to a diversified health-care portfolio Each firm’s CEO took a different approach for a different end Ecolab’s Doug Baker pushed decisions down to the front lines to strengthen customer relationships Delta’s Richard Anderson got airline workers on board by focusing on meeting their needs Ford’s Alan Mulally broke down barriers between units to improve collaboration and efficiency Novartis’s Daniel Vasella decentralized to unleash creative energy But in every case, when the executives used tools such as decision rights, performance measurement, and reward systems to address their particular business challenges, organizational culture evolved as a result, reinforcing the new direction HBR Reprint R1604H 122 Harvard Business Review April 2016 In the knowledge economy, skilled employees are the assets that drive organizational success Thus companies must learn from them—why they stay, why they leave, and how the organization needs to change A thoughtful exit interview—whether it be a face-to-face conversation, a questionnaire, a survey, or a combination—can catalyze leaders’ listening skills, reveal what does or doesn’t work inside the organization, highlight hidden challenges and opportunities, and generate essential competitive intelligence It can promote engagement and enhance retention by signaling to employees that their views matter And it can turn departing employees into corporate ambassadors for years to come Unfortunately, too few leaders pay attention to this tool; their programs fail to either improve retention or produce useful information The authors believe this is owing to poor data quality and a lack of consensus on best practices They suggest six overall goals for a strategic exit interview process and describe tactics and techniques to make it successful Among their recommendations: Have interviews conducted by second- or third-line managers Make exit interviews mandatory for at least some employees And because standard interviews enable you to spot trends, but unstructured ones elicit unexpected insights, consider combining the two approaches in semistructured interviews HBR Reprint R1604G CHANGE MANAGEMENT HBR.ORG How I Did It Managing Yourself LEADERSHIP Priceline’s CEO on Creating an In-House Multilingual Customer Service Operation An Antidote to Incivility Christine Porath | page 108 Darren Huston | page 37 Today, the author writes, business can be conducted in English almost anywhere in the developed world, possibly excepting Japan But when you build or grow a global consumer-facing business, you must speak the language of your customers, wherever they are Booking.com, the Priceline Group’s largest global business, strives to meet that goal by employing people who can answer calls in 42 languages Although Booking.com is a digital company that facilitates online reservations, about 20% of its customers wind up calling for some other reason Even though many of them are multilingual, when it comes to their personal travel, they want to speak in their native language When Huston took the reins, in 2011, the company was relatively small, with a hardto-find customer service number Now it has 6,000 full-time customer service employees, all of whom speak fluent English plus at least one other language; many speak three or four When planning how to staff call centers, the company must consider cultural factors (for instance, people in emerging markets such as Brazil and China tend to call more frequently) and nuances (Americans tend to not like speaking with a rep who has a British accent, and vice versa) For future centers, it has prioritized major cities for either their depth in major languages (Tokyo, Shanghai) or their breadth of languages (London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona) Booking.com is now, the author writes, “the largest online accommodations platform in the world, by almost any measure,” and has been rated “one of the most international websites on the planet.” HBR Reprint R1604A HOW I DID IT… PRICELINE’S CEO ON CREATING AN IN-HOUSE MULTILINGUAL CUSTOMER SERVICE OPERATION W by Darren Huston The Idea POSTMASTER Send domestic address changes, orders, and inquiries to: Harvard Business Review, Subscription Service, P.O Box 62270, Tampa, FL 33662 GST Registration No 1247384345 Periodical postage paid at Boston, Massachusetts, and additional mailing offices Printed in the U.S.A Harvard Business Review (ISSN 0017-8012; USPS 0236-520), published monthly with combined issues in January–February and July–August for professional managers, is an education program of Harvard Business School, Harvard University; Nitin Nohria, dean Published by Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, 60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163 Managing Yourself An Antidote to Incivility How to protect yourself from rude colleagues by Christine Porath “It is almost impossible to progress through a career untouched by incivility,” the author writes Over the past 20 years she has polled thousands of workers: 98% have experienced uncivil behavior, and 99% have witnessed it In 2011 half said they were treated rudely at least once a week—up from a quarter in 1998 Rude behavior ranged from outright nastiness and undermining to ignoring people’s opinions to checking e-mail during meetings Observing or experiencing rude behavior impairs short-term memory and thus cognitive ability, and has been shown to damage the immune system, put a strain on families, and produce other deleterious effects Porath has identified some tactics to minimize the effects of rudeness on performance and health The most effective remedy, she says, is to work holistically on your well-being, rather than trying to change the perpetrator or the relationship She suggests a two-pronged approach: Take steps to thrive cognitively, which includes growth, momentum, and continual learning; and take steps to thrive affectively, which means experiencing passion, excitement, and vitality at work HBR Reprint R1604J ... 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